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Article
November 2, 1957

MANAGEMENT OF SOMATIC COMPLICATIONS IN PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS

JAMA. 1957;165(9):1107-1110. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980270017004
Abstract

Modern drugs have made the psychotic patient more amenable to treatment not only for his mental illness but also for coincident somatic disease. The author's experiences have shown that some otherwise negativistic patients respond to various forms of physical therapy. This includes the active and passive forms of therapeutic exercise, which have sometimes had strikingly beneficial effects. These are well illustrated in cases of catatonia in which patients frequently develop edema, contractures, and epidermophytosis as a result of prolonged immobility in peculiar postures. Physiatrists should not avoid contact with psychiatric patients. A favorable relationship can generally be established, and the foremost requirement is judicious patience. It is helpful to have the patient observe the treatment being applied to other patients. With rare exceptions, psychiatric patients with somatic ailments can be treated successfully.

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